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“We Are All Living in the Shelter of One Another” Homeless Awareness educating and raising awareness ABOUT BEING OUT LIVING IN PUBLIC SPACE

May 16, 2016

 Homeless Awareness educating and raising awareness ABOUT BEING OUT LIVING IN PUBLIC SPACE



This abstract Irish Proverb, which I have been pondering since the first day I uttered this to a congregation in a service of mine on Mental Illness and overcoming the barriers and the stigma of being defined by a manual on diagnosing mental diseases, and the affect of this upon the person with this disease and the response from the public caused me to consider the following points.

  1.  compassion is central to understanding and forgiveness is wrapped into this for both  myself and all the rest of us,  the teachings of Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, were summed up in one symbol of the hands embracing the heart or the word ‘shirrh’.  When asked what the sum of his teachings were over the course of his life he replied with this simple word, which may be translated, “love.”

      2.  Simplicity must be our guiding principle in everything that we do, gestures, feelings, responses to loss, pain, suffering, acquisition of 

           material belongings, in our choices, in our passion and compassion.  There is no separation between being loving and forgiving oneself for mistakes and  for being compassionate and forgiving of everything on our journey in life.   For it is through living with grace and humility

           that we know and see that our lives matter. We are sacred divine beings created to live peacefully and fully in every way throughout life.

     3.  It is a gift to breathe, to live, to love, to feel with every breath that each foot step is a blessing.  We learn these principles by being still, present, ready, alert, open to the gift of this moment.   It is true that everything is connected and that our ancestors are all here because we are the reason for them.  It is also true that we are connected from beginning to end, wherever our future progeny lives and how they all go.

   4.    Our presence here and now is all that matters.  we must live with conscious resolve to do the best possible and share both our burden and joys together.  Life is like a river that flows endlessly along and we are a part of the journey both our triumphs and losses.  Inevitably there is no other way than to be gracious for this life.  


It has been determined with a telescope in space that there are thousands of places that exist with possible for life just like ours to thrive.  

we also realize that the universe is expanding and that in all of the matter that is tangible there is 2/3 of the universe that is filled with dark matter.  In this space here there is no separation between us.  When you look in the mirror you see me and when I look back I see you.  


In my life time there have been many tragedies and profound losses.  I suffered for most of the time I was here. I was born in January, 1951.  In most of my life I was not diagnosed with a mental disease, I was nearly 50 when it was determined that I was manic-depressive.  Since that time I was further determined to have an anti social personality disorder, that is a chronic condition of failing to fit in.  At the time that I was first diagnosed I was looking at ending my life and for some time struggled with this until 9/11 when I was discharged from a trauma center as I had been in a coma.  That was the day that 3,000 people lost their lives in the tragedy of the Twin Towers and the planes that struck the field in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon.  I had a choice at that moment, to get busy living or continue to suffer.  I was without a place to live during this period and I had lost my spirit and my way.  I had forgotten that all of my ancestors were with me and that my life was connected inextricably both aft and forward to everyone else.


Many people who are labeled who are without a safe place to dwell feel this sense of being ghosts, invisible, without a purpose or right to be.  Many when they have gone on with their lives never want to remember that they were without a place to stay. Many veterans wind up being on the street and many of us have persistent chronic conditions, as I have had all my life.


People always ask me what is the most important act to do for people in harm’s way and it is based upon the principles that I outlined in the beginning that I always respond.  BE PRESENT  LISTEN BE STILL AND CONSTANT IN YOUR PRESENCE

This alone is the most important gift that we can offer more than bread, than hygiene products, than money.  The reason for this follows what I stated that we must not see the person in front of us as different apart a bum a person without, we must find in our heart that burning desire to reach out and be there for him or her or them.  This is because we live with trauma from the loss of our spirit.  we feel that we are unworthy and not of value, we have lost the sense that our life matters,  We sense that if we died that no one would know and that we would be forgotten, even though we have had businesses, families, loved ones, homes a place in our communities.  We feel that we are not worth being touched. We forget that simple point, “THAT WE ARE ALL LIVING IN THE SHELTER OF ONE ANOTHER.”



footnote:  Melded within this outline are a variety of questions that are spontaneously asked of the people gathered together.  There is a need for this to be responsive to the audience and I have always spoken extemporaneously when I address anyone because the relationship of the audience and the speaker is interrelated as a dialog.

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